Hong Kong-based hedge fund Foundation Asset Management has hired two new analysts.

Jason Cheng has joined from Quam Asset Management, and will handle tech, retail and shipping. Michael Wang has joined from Bank of China International and will tackle oil, coal, plus food and beverage. Both men are equipped with degrees in economics from Hong Kong University.

The pair will report to CIO Michael Liang and will work alongside FoundationÆs existing analyst Zhao Qian.

Foundation Asset Management was established in 2006. It launched its first fund, Foundation China Opportunity Fund, in 2007 with seed capital from UOB Kay Hian and UK investors CIM Investment Management. This fund now has assets under management of $13 million. The firm is in advanced negotiation with a pair of new investors and hopes to increase assets under management significantly this year.

ôProfessional investors can live with market volatility but they want to feel secure that any potentially harmful macro scenarios in China are out of the way,ö says Liang. ôWeÆre on the point of closing a couple of investments and hope that assets will grow to around $30 million by the end of this year.ö

The China-focused, value-driven fund is down approximately 12% so far in 2008, which is a marginal improvement on its peer group. In 2007 it returned 36%.